Pipeline Owner Denies Role in Egypt-Israel Gas Deal

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Off Haifa coast, oil rig at enormous Leviathan natural gas field.
The Tamar offshore gas field. Its owners had discussed the possibility of exporting energy to Egypt.Credit: Albatross

The companies behind a plan to ship Israeli natural gas through a pipeline originally built to send Egyptian gas to Israel have not made any contact with East Mediterranean Gas about the proposal, EMG said on Sunday.

“Recently, various stories have been published concerning the possibility of Israeli gas being delivered to Egypt via the undersea pipeline built by EMG East Mediterranean Gas, and controlled by it. Some of the articles mentioned the Egyptian company Dolphinus Holdings as a party to talks or these agreements. EMG is in no way involved in these contacts,” EMG said.

The company was responding to an October report that the partners in Israel’s offshore Tamar gas field have been negotiating the sale of at least 5 billion cubic meters of gas via the pipeline.

The Tamar consortium, led by Texas-based Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek Group, said they signed a letter of intent with Dolphinus, a firm that represents nongovernmental, industrial and commercial consumers in Egypt. Any deal would be subject to approvals from EMG, they added.

The gas to be sent through the pipeline would come from excess reserves. Offshore discoveries such as Tamar have turned Israel into a potential energy exporter.
“Dolphinus and the Israeli companies that were quoted in the published articles haven’t approached EMG in connection with importing Israeli gas to Egypt. EMG has no knowledge of any agreement or another document relating to this deal.

These documents, if they exist at all, exist only with third parties unconnected with EMG,” said the company’s attorney, Niv Seber, who represents EMG in Israel.
In response, the Tamar partnership said it had no direct connection with any prospective agreement using the pipeline, but said that, to the best of its knowledge, there had been contact with EMG.

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